R. Crumb, Aline Kominsky-Crumb, and Sophie Crumb: Sauve qui peut ! (Run for Your Life)
February 10–March 26, 2022
David Zwirner is pleased to present an exhibition of works by R. Crumb, Aline Kominsky-Crumb, and Sophie Crumb, on view at the gallery’s Paris location. This will be the first major joint presentation of husband and wife Crumb and Kominsky-Crumb and their daughter, Sophie Crumb—who have all lived in France for the past thirty years—since the 2007 exhibition La Famille Crumb at Le Musée de Sérignan (now Musée régional d’art contemporain Occitanie), France.
This exhibition will feature both new and past individual and collaborative works by this prodigious family of artists. Focusing on works made since their move to France, it will offer viewers a rare opportunity to see their stylistic and conceptual links as well as the ways in which all three have forged their own artistic paths.
On the occasion of the exhibition, the Crumbs will also publish a new zine featuring new works from the show.
Imagined as part of the program of BD 2020—deemed the “Year of the Comic Strip” in France—the exhibition Comics Trip! is envisaged as an incisive journey into the heart of radical drawing practices within contemporary art. It investigates the links that artists have forged with comic strip aesthetics and narrative drawing over the past sixty years and sheds light on the work of certain alternative comic strip artists working in the underground or whose practice deliberately departs from the expectations of a restrictive mass culture industry.
Bringing together the drawings, paintings, sculptures, videos, music, and documents of over thirty artists from the 1960s to today, Comics Trip! presents several generations of artists engaged in deconstructing our relationship with the canons of good taste and beauty, in breaking down borders between high art and popular culture, and whose work is imbued by the subcultures with whom they share time and space and that they feed into.
Robert Crumb, Chris Ware, Rob Syers, Shyppy Mark, Vaughn Bode, and Charles Burns push back the limits of what they saw as official taste and academicism, from a profoundly underground comic strip world that they have invented, converging with issues that others are investigating from within institutions of contemporary art.
As films featuring superheroes from Marvel and DC comic books continue to dominate box offices around the world, a less-heralded group of comic characters and their artists from the countercultural Underground Comix movement of the 1960s and 1970s are still redefining graphic arts, comics, and cartoons.
Robert Crumb was among the most famous and prolific artists associated with the “comix” movement—satirical, self-published, and focused on content forbidden by the mainstream Comics Code Authority—with his role as a founder of Zap Comix; creator of counterculture characters in comic strips including Fritz the Cat, Mr. Natural, and Keep on Truckin'; and illustrator of album covers, most notably Cheap Thrills by Big Brother and the Holding Company, whose lead singer was Janis Joplin, and The Music Never Stopped: Roots of the Grateful Dead.
An exhibition titled R. Crumb: Drawings, Prints & Books is on display at The Contemporary Art Galleries, located in the Art Building, through March 6. The works by Robert Crumb are from the collection of Dale AJ Rose, professor emeritus of acting, and the director of performance training and associate artistic director for the Connecticut Repertory Theatre, who has collected Crumb’s art for more than 50 years.
One of America’s most celebrated cartoonists, R. Crumb helped define cartoon and punk subcultures of the 1960s and 1970s with comic strips like Fritz the Cat, Mr. Natural, and Keep on Truckin’. Inspired by Thomas Nast, Honoré Daumier, T.S. Sullivant, and James Gillray, among others, his drawings offer a satirical critique of modern consumer culture, and frequently seem to possess an outsider’s perspective—a self-conscious stance which Crumb often relates to his personal life.
Originally published in France in 1986 by Futuropolis, the first edition of Bible of Filth was never distributed in the United States because of its graphic sexual content, which included some of Crumb’s most explicit comics from underground magazines such as Snatch, Jiz, Zap, XYZ, Big Ass, and Uneeda. This revised and expanded English edition from David Zwirner Books, printed on bible paper and bound in leather, contains all the original pieces from the 1986 volume as well as over one hundred pages of additional material. Organized chronologically, there are comics from 1968 to 1986 that were omitted from the first edition and an entirely new selection of work created after 1986.
May 7–September 10, 2017
With more than 300 exhibits from the United States, Europe, and Japan, Comics! Mangas! Graphic Novels! is the most comprehensive exhibition about the genre to be held in Germany. Although the history of European comics is often traced back to illustrated stories by artists such as Rodolphe Toepffer, Gustave Doré, and Wilhelm Busch—none of whom used speech bubbles—it was in New York that comics emerged at the end of the nineteenth century. Drawing on the richly diverse immigrant cultures of the metropolitan melting pot, they were the first visual mass medium. Separate sections of the exhibition are devoted to Europe and Japan, where modern comics belatedly took off after the end of the Second World War, developing an intriguing range of highly distinctive national traditions. While cartoonists in Europe tightened and concentrated the visual language of comics, manga artists expanded it, introducing cinematic, multi-perspectival modes of representation and narrative that embedded themselves deeply in the current global youth culture.
In the 1960s, thanks to artists like Robert Crumb or Will Eisner and figures like Asterix or Barbarella, comics once again began to attract an older readership. In the wake of the cultural upheaval of 1968, comics came to be seen as the “ninth art,” and with the phenomenon of the graphic novel, we now witness the discovery of its hitherto ignored literary potential. At the same time, manga has established itself as a global phenomenon.
David Zwirner Books published Art & Beauty Magazine: Drawings by R. Crumb on the occasion of the artist's 2016 exhibition at the London gallery. The book combines two previously published volumes of the magazine with the new Art & Beauty Magazine, Number 3. The drawings in these volumes portray a broad range of female figures in diverse settings and include recognizable celebrities like Serena Williams and Coco. The drawings are based on photographs from magazines, life studies, camera phones snapshots, and selfies.
A limited edition of the book features a special slipcase and signed bookplate.
Drawn Together presented Aline Kominsky-Crumb and R. Crumb's collaborative works, such as their ongoing Aline & Bob comics, as well as works created individually by each artist.
A version of the exhibition was presented at David Zwirner in New York in January 2017.